Monday, January 15, 2007

Pork Cutlets with Arugula Salad and sautéed Tomatoes

We had some friends over before we left for Mexico and, overall, I was pleased with this recipe from Everyday Food. The sharp, peppery bite of arugula is set off by the lemon vinagarette and salty parmesean shavings. And the cherry tomatoes -- well, a bite into a good tomato is like a bite into a warm summer day.

The pork cutlets, however, were disappointingly bland. (Everyone said they liked them, but I have trouble believing this. Bland is bland, and no amount of salt, pepper, or lemon juice could revive them.) So for lunch the next day, I tried the cutlet recipe again, substituting some breadcrumbs mixed with a bit of parmesean for the flour mixture. (I also cooked them over medium, not medium-high, heat.) Much, MUCH tastier.

Pork Cutlets with Arugula Salad and sautéed Tomatoes

2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice plus lemon wedges
6 tsp. olive oil
Salt & pepper
4 boneless pork chops, fat trimmed
¼ c. flour
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 lb arugula, thick stems trimmed & washed well
Shaved parmesean cheese, for serving (optional)

Make dressing: In a large bowl, combine lemon juice and 1 tsp oil. Season with s&p. Set aside.

Place chops on a work surface and butterfly. (Cut each chop in half horizontally on the side without fat, opening the chop like a book but stopping before cutting all the way through.) Place between pieces of plastic wrap and, using a meat or the bottom of a small, heavy pan, pound until each chop is ¼ thick.

On a plate, combine flour, 1 tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper. Coat each cutlet with flour mixture, shaking off excess. Set aside.

In a medium skillet, heat 1 tsp oil over medium high. Add tomatoes, and cook until softened about 5 minutes. Remove tomatoes and set aside (keep warm in a 200-degree oven --LR).

In the same skillet, heat 1 tsp of oil over medium high heat. Add one cutlet and cook until browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Turn over and cook until opaque throughout, about 30 seconds more. Transfer to a plate and cover loosely with foil. Repeat with remaining cutlets using 1 tsp oil for each.

Add arugula to bowl with dressing and toss. Place tomatoes and 1 cutlet on each plate with lemon wedges. Top pork with arugula and, if desired, parmesean.


Cutlets as is: B; Cutlets with breadcrumbs and parmesean: A

Arugula Salad: A

Tomatoes: A

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